Bostoner Rebbe: The Makom of Torah will Comfort You
This past Shabbat, Parshat Zachor, the Bostoner Rebbe Shlita of Har Nof spoke of the tragedy that occurred at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav. "How can we possibly find comfort for Klal Yisrael? What words of comfort can we possibly express, after such a heavy loss? After such a tragedy, how can we be of help to lighten this awesome burden?" the Rebbe asked.
"When we comfort mourners, our Sages gave us the formula, with the words, 'HaMakom yinachem et'chem, b'toch shaar avelei Zion v'Yerushalayim – May the Almighty [literally, the Place] comfort you, amongst the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.' These words themselves are what give us comfort. They have the power to comfort us, and give us the strength to continue our lives, despite the great loss. The word 'HaMakom' can be a source of comfort in and of itself. When we think about the great tragedy, and realize that despite it all, the 'place' of Torah remains, the Yeshiva where Torah is learned – that cannot be destroyed or taken away from us…
"In the holy City of Yerushalayim, despite the desire of our enemies to extinguish the light of Torah, the Yeshiva - Mercaz HaRav - still stands, and its boys continue to learn with great diligence, holiness and purity, and the voice of Torah resounds in its walls. 'The Place' gives and will give comfort to us, as it remains a Makom Torah… the fact that such a 'Place' exists, gives us comfort."
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The Kaliver Rebbe Gives Chizuk to Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav
On Wednesday night, the Kaliver Rebbe Shlita visited and delivered words of encouragement [Chizuk] to a crowd of nearly 1,000 people in Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav, in memory of the Kedoshim HY"D [holy ones, may G-d avenge their blood] murdered last week in cold blood.
Speaking in Hebrew, the Rebbe spoke for nearly an hour, strengthening the students of the Yeshiva. With heavy sobs, the Rebbe concluded his speech by standing up together with the bachurim of the Yeshiva Ketana and Yeshiva Gedola, and reciting "Shema Yisrael."
Yeshiva Marks One Week Since Massacre
The Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva held a memorial ceremony on Thursday night in honor of eight young students who were murdered in a terrorist shooting at the seminary last week. The gathering, attended by the families of the victims, marks the end of the traditional Jewish initial seven-day mourning period (Shiva).
Among the leading rabbinical figures in attendance were Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook, the Bostoner Rebbe - Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, and others.
Former Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, assured the crowds that came to mourn the terror victims that the souls of the murdered boys are in the highest levels of Heaven, "and G-d is receiving them with happiness. G-d will yet fulfill 'G-d of vengeance is the L-rd; G-d of vengeance appear!' The vengeance of the L-rd is in the increasing strength of Israel...."
Turning to the students of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yosef said, "I love every one of you. Don't let your hands weaken, continue learning Torah with greater determination and greater strength, to become giants of Torah [with] awe of Heaven, to spread among the people the words of Torah and to bring everyone closer to their Father in Heaven."
Hatzala Group Visits Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav and Gives Much-Needed Chizuk
A group of Hatzala paramedics and EMTs from Flatbush, Queens, Washington Heights and Lakewood have traveled to Eretz Yisrael to offer Chizuk, support and encouragement to the residents of Sderot and to the country at large. These veteran Hatzala members are part of the larger "HEART Team": Hatzala - Emergency - Ambulance - Response - Team; which has trained with and is ready to deploy to Israel in a time of war, Heaven forbid, if necessary on a moment’s notice.
The group paid a visit to Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav on Thursday night - the day that the families of the eight Kedoshim HY"D were getting up from Shiva. Eight pure Korbanot [victims] being mourned across the world…The Roshei Yeshiva, and senior Rabbeim, as well as dozens of students joined together with the Hatzala group to mourn and bring the yeshiva back to itself at a gathering in the Yeshiva…
The room came to a hush as Tehillim and "Acheinu" [a prayer for help in times of distress] was recited, followed by Divrei Chizuk delivered by the Hatzala members - including one very moving speech by Flatbush Hatzala member R. Chaskel Bennett. Afterwards, the Talmidim and Hatzala members began to sing "Acheinu", and held each other as the feeling in the room went from sadness to one of hope.
The group also inaugurated a new Sefer Torah to be written in memory of the eight Kedoshim. Talmidim and Rabbeim expressed tremendous appreciation for the outpouring of love and chizuk.
Finally, the Sadigora Rebbe sent a special letter of Tanchumin [comfort] to the Yeshiva, saying, "Certainly, the boys who were killed ascended to the company of the Holy ones [Kedoshim] in Gan Eden, as our Sages say, 'No one can stand in the company of those slain by martyrdom.' "
And the Pinsk-Karlin Rebbe came to the Yeshiva to speak words of comfort to the boys there.